Jewel-toned pillows made from vintage Turkish rugs share shelf space with verdant plants so green they look Photo-shopped. For those who prefer a more neutral palette, there are pillows made by a local seamstress from vintage European grain sacks, each one embellished with a pattern representing a particular French farm.
Pillows and plants are just a fraction of what makes up the merchandise in the Someday Shop, which opened in the arts district in October 2018. Owner Audie McDougall, who was one of the first employees at Ledbury, managed its retail division for five years after working at Anthropologie and Nordstrom. But her heart was always in home styling, not fashion, and a youth spent growing up with a mother who had no use for anything new — while living in an old farmhouse in Montpelier - helped define her attraction to vintage goods and eclectic decor.
When McDougall first opened the shop, she knew she wanted to carry a few plants because she’d grown up with parents who’d had a greenhouse business in Chicago in the 1970s and raised orchids at home. Her Jackson Ward customer base quickly let her know that plants were where it was at. “Plants quickly became a big part of my business as I expanded on that,” she says with a laugh.
Over the past year, she’s learned that her customer base skews younger, with a decided interest in sustainability, functionality and aesthetics. In deciding what merchandise to carry, she begins with one basic question. “Would I want to put it in my house?” she asks. “Then, is it beautiful? Useful? Eco-friendly? It’s not a super-scientific process.”
McDougall readily admits that she has her mother’s taste and gravitates to brands they had growing up, such as Burstenhouse Redecker brushes, a company that’s been around since 1935. Bouquets of brushes of all kinds burst from ceramic pots throughout the store. The Someday Shop also carries an array of products that encourage a low or no-waste lifestyle by avoiding the use of plastics.
All of the furniture and art in the store is for sale, even the tables holding merchandise, and much of it is midcentury modern, a style her husband favors. They scour markets and estate sales for inventory, occasionally traveling to upstate New York, Chicago and even France to do so. Much of the new merchandise comes from local artisans and small-scale makers. The llama wool rugs exemplify both: the llama wool comes from a farm in Hanover County and it’s hand-loomed by an artisan in Texas. Goat’s milk soap and lotion are made at Freckle Farm in Goochland County.
Throughout the store, a visitor might come across coffee table books — “Monet: a Retrospective,” “The Sunken Garden,” “A Passion for Detail” — open on a table or propped open on a book stand, inspiration waiting to happen. Sturdy straw baskets hang from the wall, as if waiting to be taken to market or, better yet, the beach. Old landscape paintings in elaborate gold frames line the walls between shelves, while vintage copper pots hang between acrylic paintings of horses’ heads. The overall vibe is serene and green with lots of natural materials.
Every month, McDougall keeps the shop open for the First Friday art walks, often hosting pop-ups and artist demonstrations. Beginning in April and running through October, the Someday Shop will play host to the River City Flower Exchange every First Friday, allowing customers to choose from a variety of cut flowers raised by local growers. She tries to hold at least one or two other special events every month to help raise the store’s profile.
One thing she’s especially grateful for is how welcoming the local businesses have been.
“It’s great to see how the neighborhood rallies around a new business,” she says. “Quirk sends people and so does Verdalina and Rosewood.”
People who work in nearby offices have begun stopping in for cards and gifts, too.
“I’m still learning the neighborhood,” she admits of continuing to tweak her inventory. “Sure, you can go to Lowe’s or Home Depot for plants, but will they take the time to teach you about the plant like I will? And for anyone who’s gravitating toward more intentional thinking when planning their home, I can help them shop local.”
The Someday Shop at 22 E. Broad St. is open Tuesdays- Fridays 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturdays noon – 6 p.m., Sundays noon – 4 p.m.Back to the Home Issue